Whether you’re using a smartphone or a camera, there are some things to keep in mind if you want to bring home the best travel photos.
- Shoot from different angles to get the best photo. You may think you have a decent photo until you move around and discover a better angle.
- Watch lighting. Dark photos and glare are the main reasons for poor photos. Many camera phones do not have a flash, so try to use existing light sources. If using a digital camera, be sure the flash is on. If shooting in direct sunlight, move around to find best light and don’t shoot into the sun.
- Have your camera or camera phone ready. If it’s stored in a pocket or camera bag, it
may be too late to get the photo by the time you get it out, turn it on, and
take the shot.
- Do not set out on a trip with a brand new camera or camera phone. Play with it at home before you set out. On the go is not the place to learn all the features of a camera or camera phone.
- Watch for distractions, such as poles, wires, trash cans, construction material, cars, and signs. A picture is ruined if there is someone’s arm in the corner or a stop sign in the lower left corner. Sometimes these cannot be cropped out without cropping out part of the main image.
- Turn the camera vertically to see a different perspective. Additionally, try zooming in or out to see how the image looks. Remember that the subject doesn’t always have to be centered. Putting it on the left or right can create a unique shot.
- Be sure batteries are charged and ready. If using a phone, be sure to bring a charger. If using a camera, be sure to bring extra batteries and a card with sufficient memory to hold all your images.
- Buy the right smartphone or a camera if you plan on using it to take photos. Here are important features to consider: image stabilization, auto focus, flash, facial detection, photo resolution (five-megapixel minimum), and 1000 HD resolution.
- Remember that you can fix a lot of photo problems these days using software that came with your computer, including cropping, brightness, contrast, etc. So don’t delete an image until you’re sure it can’t be salvaged.
- There are lots of nifty photo apps to enhance your images and to store and share them. Some are free and others cost just a couple of bucks:
PicSayPro allows you to enhance photos in all kinds of ways, such as sharper images and special effects. www.picsaypro.com
Camera360 Ultimate permits all kinds of weird special effects. www.androidzoom.com
Hipstamatic lets users create retro images, analog prints, and upload to Facebook and Flickr. (iPhone only, available in the Apple iTunes app store at www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone)
CameraBag is another option for special effects, such as Fisheye, Infrared, and Colorcross photos. (iPhone only, available in the Apple iTunes app store at www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone)
Do a search for more options. There are editing apps, as well as many others. Also, check out scanR (www.scanR.com) and Qipit (www.qipit.com). These apps let you scan, print, and fax from your phone. PhotoBucket (free) will help you organize your photos (available on Android, Blackberry, and iPhone/iPad).
The best photos are unplanned and not posed!